Characterization of the Crack Propagation in the API X-52 and API X-65 Steels into Cathodic Protection


Cathodic protection has been applied for many years as the best method to prevent the corrosion in systems which transported hydrocarbon pipelines. However, it has found the presence of stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in steel pipelines with high concentrations of carbonates and bicarbonates with pH final (9 to 11). The resistance to the stress corrosion cracking of the API X-52 and API X-65 steels was evaluated on compact modified wedge opening specimens (WOL). The specimens were loaded of 95% of the yield strength. The resistance of crack propagation and the corrosion rate were evaluated with different applied potentials (-850 and -650 mV), this with respect to a saturated copper/copper sulfate reference electrode. The used electrolytes were simulated soils (carbonate-bicarbonate solution). Evidence of crack propagation of the API X-52 and API X-65 steels were carried out by scanning electron microscopy. The obtained result showed susceptibility to SCC on specimens with cathodic protection. The cathodic protection applied (-850 mV vs Cu/CuSO4 electrode) decreases considerably the corrosion rate on the evaluated steels. In this work the loaded stress showed to be a very important variable on the susceptibility to SCC.

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García, R.M.L., Quintero-Torres, R. Characterization of the Crack Propagation in the API X-52 and API X-65 Steels into Cathodic Protection. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1242, 46 (2009).

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